Pre-Park Arrival Tips

We all love to get some insider tips when we visit places and Disney is no different. Here are a few that I myself follow and hand out to my friends and family.

  • Plan your park days, this is especially important with FastPass+. If you want to get on some of the more popular attractions you have to plan what park you will be in which day and then make your plans accordingly. Your travel agent should be able to help you choose the right park. Sometimes this is dependent on what meal reservations are available if you really need to get into Be Our Guest or Cinderella’s Royal Table you might have to make your plans around your dining. If you are looking for the park with the least crowds then you can easily search for a crowd calendar (I like Touringplans.com) to get suggestions.
  • Pack comfortable, broken in shoes. Now is not the time to try out those cute new shoes. Even when I wore my shoes I walked all over Germany wearing, I still got blisters at Walt Disney World. So pack that moleskin, runner socks (usually padded and breathable), and if you want to go really crazy spray your feet with spray deodorant and wear those shoes you wear all the time. I do like tennis shoes or walking shoes and then change them out halfway through the day if you want.
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  • Sunscreen, do not forget this. Not only is it going to cost a lot more to purchase at Disney, you will have to search it out in the gift shops at the resort. Make sure you put it on in the morning and then reapply throughout the day. It is not fun to be sunburned at the end of the day. Of course you can and should also take your hats and sunglasses for the whole family.
  • Once you arrive at the parks you should pick up a park map and times guide. Sure you can get a map on your phone but I like to make sure I grab a map for each adult in the group. This helps if you split up then you can avoid getting that phone call from someone asking how they get to where you are meeting. I like to also give one to my child and she can check it out while we are waiting and she loves to help decide what attractions we will do next. This also lists the restrooms, first aid and baby care centers. The times guide will tell you when you can see performers, shows and parades that are inside the parks. A lot of times I like to stumble upon these but if you have your heart set on seeing a certain character or Dapper Dans this will help you plan your day. And a bonus tip, if you know you are coming back grab an extra just to take home. Trust me when I say your park map will be mangled by the end of the day so grab another on your way out and you can use it to plan your next trip.
  • If you are traveling with kids there is always a worry you might get separated. There are a few tips I like to give. You can write your phone number on our child with a sharpie, somewhere hidden by their clothing. You could also use a bracelet with your number or a temporary tattoo. One thing we have done personally is have a dog tag made up with my phone number on it. I take the tag and pin it to her clothing or shoe, somewhere she won’t mess with it and hopefully not even notice it. It is also really important to point out cast members to your child. I like to point out custodial employees particularly since their costumes are the same throughout the parks. You can also tell them to look for the cast member name tags as well and that these are the person to go to if you get separated from your group.
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These are just a some of my pre-park and planning tips.  If you have a really great one let me know in the comments!